In the opening scenes of District 9 you see that an alien shipped arrived unexpectedly in South Africa, and the government didn't relly know how to deal with that or the unexpected responsibility of maintaining an alien race.

Why didn't another government (such as the United States) or a large corporation step in to help (and also as an opportunity to gain insight into alien technologies)?

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    South Africa's immense political and military clout allowed it to leverage itself as the sole representative of humanity to the Prauns. – Xantec Jan 19 '12 at 20:35
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    I'm just glad for once the US wasn't called on or assuming "leader of the world" duties! – eidylon Jan 19 '12 at 20:37
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    I assume that every nation would want to get involved, like in SG1's Stargate program and Atlantis. Because there would be some chance, however slim, of uncovering some technological marvel from the alien ship. – Mark Rogers Jan 20 '12 at 2:52
  • @Jack, is my answer missing something I could add to it? – AncientSwordRage Feb 11 '12 at 10:09

Just before the arrival of the Aliens (Prawns) in 1982, the UN had just started two ongoing operations:

  • 1974 Ongoing UN Disengagement Observer Force
    • Maintain ceasefire between Syria and Israel on the Golan Heights
  • 1978 Ongoing UN Interim Force in Lebanon
    • Supervise Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon. Keep the international peace and security, and help the Lebanese Government restore its effective authority in the area.

These peacekeeping missions would have stretched their forces relatively thin, so when the aliens arrived there would have been very little they could do in terms of manpower. And anyway the UN moves NATO forces in when there is conflict, not something 'suspicious'.

With no chance to force their way in three months of communication between SA and the UN is probably why no attempt was made to contact the ships (who were silent up until then) by either side. When they found the aliens were of no threat (and in fact starving and helpless) the SA government would have communicated this to the UN, I suspect the UN may have sent in some 'people' to investigate, but the UN is not a scientific group and no conflict needs settling. They would likely have told the US to back off and let the SA government handle it.

Pretty much nothing happens in the intervening decades. Nothing. No wars with the aliens, nothing of interest. It's a lot of time for everyone to settle down. Say "Yeah aliens arrived, but so what? They've been here for decades." Public interest would have died off after the initial buzz, more or less.

This is why the US and others wouldn't have gotten directly involved: No direct conflict to step in on, no 'threat' or interest. I'm sure some US scientists are working at MNU, I'm sure there is some low level involvement by the US and UN, but right now it's not interesting.


Let's imagine United States stepping in:

  • 1/3 of population that's notionally "libertarian" crucifies the involved government for "wasting government money on foreign/alien aid"

  • 1/3 of population that's notionally "conservative" crucifies the involved government because aliens contradict the Bible

  • 1/3 of population that's notionally "liberal" crucifies the involved government for "exploitation" of both aliens AND South Africa for gain, and for colluding with (as far as I understand the premise of the movie) the apartheid like policies against the aliens

Result: the whole country unites to throw the bums into the sea.

Everyone returns to the more important things in life, like who will win the next baseball game.

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    Sheesh, you downvote someone you should explain why, whoever DVd this answer. – eidylon Jan 19 '12 at 20:49
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    I wasn't the DV'r, but this fails to answer the question in general, that is, why didn't some group other than South Africa step in as the ambassadors of humanity to the prauns (such as the UN, Google, NATO, etc)? – Xantec Jan 19 '12 at 20:53
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    @Xantec - NATO ran out of money, Google was too busy being pro-piracy, UN was "useful" as usual and spent a year in commitee meetings. HTH. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 19 '12 at 21:02
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    I agree with @Xantec about this, I don't think it really answers the question. Perhaps we'll find out in the sequel? – AncientSwordRage Jan 20 '12 at 11:03
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    The aliens arrived in South Africa 1982. Analysis based on present-day US corporations and politics isn't really useful, I think. – Mark Beadles Mar 4 '12 at 18:18

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